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They should be here by now.....I haven't heard of any caught yet.......any theories?
Anybody caught any this year?
 

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There were not that many last year Steve. I bottom fished three oyster beds last week and did not catch any spot. Things seem to be about a week or two behind...... Gary
 

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While it's true that spot have been fished hard for live and cut bait, they are very prolific and that alone will not deplete the stock. A few years back it seemed spot did not get the "time to go" memo and there was a large winter kill off in the bay. The Chesapeake Bay region is just a portion of their core area and most only live 3 years with a max of 5. Striped bass can live 30 years.They will be fine............. Gary
 

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I'm planning a spot recon mission down to the chop tank this week. In years past they always showed in the mouth of the choptank a couple weeks before anywhere else. I'll let you all know if I find them.
 

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I'm planning a spot recon mission down to the chop tank this week. In years past they always showed in the mouth of the choptank a couple weeks before anywhere else. I'll let you all know if I find them.
You are correct. My Cousin lives on the Tank and I am waiting on his call when they arrive!......Gary
 

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While it's true that spot have been fished hard for live and cut bait, they are very prolific and that alone will not deplete the stock. A few years back it seemed spot did not get the "time to go" memo and there was a large winter kill off in the bay. The Chesapeake Bay region is just a portion of their core area and most only live 3 years with a max of 5. Striped bass can live 30 years.They will be fine............. Gary
I hear ya, but the same could be said of weakfish. As you'll recall, one year a bunch died in the coastal bays after a particularly hard winter. The thought among biologists and sport fishermen alike was that members of the drum family tend to be prolific breeders, so they'll bounce back. Over a decade later and we're still waiting.

I think the problem is that when we fish a species to the edge, natural disasters that would otherwise be a brief setback become the last nail in their coffin. I hope that's not the case with spot, but I guess we'll see.
 

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I hear ya, but the same could be said of weakfish. As you'll recall, one year a bunch died in the coastal bays after a particularly hard winter. The thought among biologists and sport fishermen alike was that members of the drum family tend to be prolific breeders, so they'll bounce back. Over a decade later and we're still waiting.

I think the problem is that when we fish a species to the edge, natural disasters that would otherwise be a brief setback become the last nail in their coffin. I hope that's not the case with spot, but I guess we'll see.
I think they will be fine Jeff. Spot are the most plentiful fish in the bay and their numbers are much higher than trout. I do agree that a one two punch to a weak population could severely affect it though. They will show soon....... Gary
 

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spot

I think they will be fine Jeff. Spot are the most plentiful fish in the bay and their numbers are much higher than trout. I do agree that a one two punch to a weak population could severely affect it though. They will show soon....... Gary
We are having the same issue with spot here in the Northern Neck of Virginia. Without a doubt the problem is the overfishing commercially. Spot and croaker are netted in huge numbers from Cape Charles to above Silver Beach. Virginia has no fish management plan for these species. Consequently we get only the ones that get through the nets!
 

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"They'll be fine, we can't hurt they're populations, nature takes care of itself" they said about crabs, oysters, rockfish and weakfish.... I wish I believed that. That state of mind, which for some reason is very prevalent in our region, has led to the depletion of countless species.
 

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We are having the same issue with spot here in the Northern Neck of Virginia. Without a doubt the problem is the overfishing commercially. Spot and croaker are netted in huge numbers from Cape Charles to above Silver Beach. Virginia has no fish management plan for these species. Consequently we get only the ones that get through the nets!
I was unaware of all the netting going on in Virginia. But with large amounts of commercial netting, overfishing and winter kill off, that could be a real problem. They might have to be a managed species and limits set.............Gary
 

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It is still early for spot, at least in the Annapolis area. Water temps were also cold up until recently so I think they will run behind. End of June is typical for good concentrations of spot. July-Sept are when they are around best.
 

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Yes, I'm expecting that it's still too early to declare spot an endangered species. But these experiences should get us thinking about whether we should let any popular commercial or gamefish be subject to wide-open, unregulated harvest. It seems to always end badly and often very suddenly. From crabs to weakfish to bluefish, we went from seeming abundance to nearly zero within just a few years.

I don't think we can put all of the blame on commercials, either. When I was 15, I went on a 6-pack charter. At some point near the Pax Naval station, the rudder got stuck and, while the mate fixed it, we bottom fished for five hours. I will always remember that we caught and kept 435 fish - 415 spot and 20 weakfish. I took home about 50 spot and maybe 5 weakfish. I week later I buried the 50 spot in my mom's flower beds. That was my first real awakening to my role in wasting a resource.

About a decade later, for several summers in a row I watched how the spot bite on Tolly Pt pretty much ended after the July 4 holiday weekend, after scores of headboats and other fishermen parked on Tolly Pt and filled their giant coolers with fish. It was like a vacuum came over the reef. I wondered then how the spot population could sustain that pressure; I continued to be amazed each year thereafter as the spot managed to return.

But I always suspected that the spot population could not sustain that pressure forever, which is why I'm never surprised when I hear mounting reports of frustration over the past decade about a steadily declining spot supply. Of course, fisheries rarely grant us the luxury of a linear decline for very long; at some point and without warning, the slow, linear decline becomes a cliff. And then, sometimes, it's too late.
 

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